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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

BACK    TO    PARIS    AND    CELEBRITIES
membered that she had an important engagement
with a rich man. We breathed a sigh of relief and
settled down to the coffee and liqueurs and to listen
to Ivan's stories. After a few liqueurs everyone else
remembered some stories, including myself, and the
party continued till the early hours of the morning.
I decided to do a series of water-colours of cafes
and street scenes, and have an exhibition in London.
Every day I did a drawing which I took home and
painted from memory. I was astonished to find how
quickly one can train one's memory and after a few
weeks I could do them with perfect ease. I was
thinking of the pictures that I had done at Collioure.
I had about fifteen of them and decided that I ought
to go to London and try and make some money.
Walter Sickert had a house near Dieppe and I wrote
to him telling him that I was going to London by
Dieppe-Newhaven. He wrote asking me to stay
with him. I packed my pictures up and Sickert
met me at Dieppe. I did not recognize him at first
as he wore a sailor's peaked cap, oilskins, and a red
spotted handkerchief round his neck. He was
always difficult to recognize if one had not seen him
for some time. He might appear with an enormous
beard like a Crimean veteran or he would dress
himself in very loud checks and a bowler hat and
look like something off a race-course. We took a
taxi to Envermeu, where he had a house; it was
some miles away from Dieppe. We drove through
the forest of Arques, where there was a battle In
about 1600. The forest looked very beautiful, as it
was autumn, and the roads and the ground of the
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